Print Column: The Quickest Way to Reduce DUI’s in North Dakota Would Be to Stop Enforcing the Law

MINOT, N.D. — “North Dakota tops list in study for percentage of drivers with a DUI history.”

That recent headline was over an article describing research done by an insurance quotes website. Which is often the case with these sort of articles.

Companies hawking things like insurance or credit cards produce these “studies” ranking states on one metric or another. They announce them in press releases hoping reporters, always thirsty for easy copy, will write stories about them thus boosting web traffic and name recognition for the companies.

They’re an exercise in marketing, not data science, and that would be fine except these news articles often end up getting used in real world public policy debates.

Which is problematic because, believe it or not, DUI arrests are not really the goal of DUI policy.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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